Transcript: The Iron Giant (1999)

Transcript of 70mm’s The Iron Giant (1999) Episode.

SLIM Heeeyy, it’s your old pal Slim. And this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers. Every Monday I’m joined by famous artist, Danny Haas.

DANNY I would do — Listen to me. Listen to me. I would do Muppets Treasure Island over Shrek 2.

SLIM And spiritual advisor, Protolexus.

PROTO I can’t just give you an answer! You can’t just pull any movie out of your hat and expect a, you know, a quality answer from me!

SLIM And together as friends forever, we discuss recently watched movies. This episode, I chose to close out Blockbusted Month with Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant. Is this the ultimate animated science fiction movie? Or is 2d animation stuck in the past forever? Let’s find out! Together.

[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]

SLIM I put it out on the IG about the Iron Giant. I asked ‘do you love The Iron Giant? Yes or no?’

DANNY What’s the percentage?

SLIM 94% said yes.

DANNY Ohhhh baby! That’s impressive!

SLIM That’s a high percentage.

DANNY That’s really high.

PROTO Is that a high percentage?

SLIM We haven’t hit that high since we asked people if we should do a Hamilton episode —

DANNY Ohhhh kay.

SLIM And they said no in high percentages. Proto, what’s your vibe on those poll percentages?

PROTO I don’t know who these people are. [Danny laughs] They could be Russian bots for all I know.

SLIM Proto hasn’t looked at our IG probably in eight months when he said that we were posting too much. I think he muted our IG account.

DANNY He was so mad.

SLIM If I remember correctly.

PROTO I think my last post was for the Babes in Toyland, that was the last time I logged into that account. [Danny & Slim laugh] Because I had to let the people know that this was not my doing.

SLIM I just want to call out we had a bunch of new friends joined the Patreon this week. MrVeryLong, Will James, Ion Cannon, Tony, Jock, Angelina, Alexandro, Nick, Justin, you know me, whackdummy and Yoli. Just a reminder, under the wire, if you sign up before May, if you’re listening to this, and it’s the last day of April. You can sign up to our Patreon, four bucks a month and get that free Solo print. And that is shipping, when is that shipping?

DANNY Stay tuned.

SLIM Stay tuned. We still got a lot of work to do to get those things printed.

DANNY It’s a lot. A lot of prints.

SLIM Have you seen the state of the USPS? I ask you.

DANNY I don’t know about you Northeasterners up there.

SLIM East Coast people, we are in hell right now. Absolute hell!

PROTO We’re living in Thunderdome. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Let’s talk about something positive. Danny watched Super 8 this week and I wanna get into it.

DANNY Matt! Yes! Thank you!

SLIM What made you dig into that this week?

DANNY Um, you know, I’m not sure actually. I don’t know what made me think about it. Maybe someone else reviewed on Letterboxd and I was just like, man, I’ve only seen this once or twice. And I remember sitting in theaters and just being straight blown away. Like this, these are the movies that check every single box for me. I just, I looove the kids on adventure. I’m a JJ Abrams fan of this era. It’s just, it’s so much fun like I don’t, I don’t understand how you could watch that and just not have a good time. The kids are incredible, they have such good chemistry, the story is so fun. That train wreck sequence is phenomenal. Like, it’s just, it’s what movies are for. Like this is what you go to the movies to see, is Super 8. These kids making a film and you get to watch it in the credits, like it’s just funny. It’s just, it’s just great and I mean I only gave it four and a half stars. I don’t know why I don’t give it a 5 Banger.

PROTO Wow.

SLIM Peww. Death sentence.

DANNY It’s just, it’s just so much fun! Like if I could see that on the big screen again. I definitely would. I love it. I just love it so much. It’s just smart. It’s just a smart film.

SLIM I think a drive-in —

DANNY Oh myyy God! That’d be a great drive-in movie. I just love that film! I know you only gave it three and a half stars and you tried to like throw some Stranger Things shade in your —

SLIM I think it’s because I rewatched Super 8 for the second time post-Stranger Things.

DANNY Right and not thinking that Stranger Things stole ideas from Super 8.

SLIM If I can actually maybe speak for myself… that would be fantastic.

DANNY I’m listening. I’m listening. [Slim laughs]

SLIM I think if you watch Super 8 after having — I think Stranger Things was super hot at the time, and I feel like you can’t go watch Super 8, and not be clouded somewhat by Stranger Things, for better or worse. And I’ve said a lot of negative things about Stranger Things. I’ll be the first to tell you that there are some really annoying BS in that show. But I don’t know, they’re just very similar now. Proto, what’s your vibe on that?

PROTO I didn’t make it past —

DANNY 90%?

PROTO Season 2, episode 2 of Stranger Things.

SLIM Trash.

DANNY Oh my. Season 2’s not good.

SLIM Season 3 is good I think. I like Season 3.

DANNY Season 3 is the best.

PROTO Oh, wait a second. Season 3. Is that the one where they’re in the mall?

SLIM Yeah.

PROTO Oh okay. That’s where I quit.

SLIM Ohhh!

DANNY Oh wow. Okay.

SLIM Wowww.

DANNY You had enough. You made it 90%.

PROTO Millie Bobby Brown’d.

SLIM Mel just said ‘Snoozy Bobby Brown’d’. Mel also said she was eating a smoothie bowl in Venice Beach and JJ walked by her.

PROTO That sounds made up. [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM That is so detailed to the point where it’s 100% made up. Did you watch Super 8, Proto? Do you have any thoughts on that movie?

PROTO Yeah, I think I saw that in the theater. Um, yeah. I feel like, I remember feeling a little, I don’t know. Like it was fun. But yeah, it was, it was fun… [Slim laughs] That’s all that’s coming to me in this moment. I have to rewatch it!

SLIM Danny is making the scrunched Kermit face right now. [Danny laughs]

DANNY Here’s the thing, you put him on the spot, Matt. Okay?

SLIM I did, you know, that’s what this show is about.

DANNY It’s an old movie. I can’t just expect Proto to have it on the cuff right now for a review. Matt, calm down.

PROTO I can’t just give you an answer! You can’t just pull any movie out of your hat and expect a, you know, a quality answer from me!

DANNY I haven’t even gone into my David Lean journey for Proto to be frustrated with.

PROTO Ohhhhh.

SLIM Can we get into that now?!

DANNY Listen, I —

SLIM Bridge on the River Kwai.

DANNY I skipped the first of the David Lean journey because it wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to do it. I really was looking forward to Bridge on the River Kwai. And this is a long movie. Very long.

PROTO Spoilers. [Slim laughs]

DANNY And it is very boring. I could care less about any of this story like it was, it made absolutely no sense to me why 200 prisoners couldn’t overtake these five —

SLIM Guns, ever heard of them? They shoot bullets.

DANNY They shoot one at a time. These aren’t even automated. They had one automatic gun in the back of a truck that finally pulled up. Get out of here!

PROTO It’s the principle!

SLIM Were they still loading these guns with pipes and gunpowder, is that what you’re thinking?

PROTO It’s the principle!

DANNY They could have taken the whole camp. I don’t care about the principle.

PROTO Didn’t you hear what Obi-Wan said? Didn’t you listen to a single word he said?

DANNY Thank you for saying that. Because every time Alec Guinness opened his mouth, I was transported back to Star Wars and I was so bored with this film that I wish I was watching A New Hope instead of this, because I was so bored. But that being said, that final scene in Bridge is phenomenal. Like I remember stopping what I was doing. And just like my, almost my jaw was open, because I really loved that scene. That is like, that was like top tier movie moment for sure. I don’t want to spoil too much if you haven’t seen it. There’s a, there’s a bridge and a cool fight.

PROTO Wait, wait. So hold on a second.

DANNY Say it.

PROTO You said you stopped what you were doing. So you stopped watching the Bridge on the River Kwai to watch what was going on in the movie? [Slim laughs] You said ‘I stopped what I was doing’—

DANNY You know how in West Side Story you were so bored with the music you were on your phone? [Slim laughs] In this I was so bored with this film, I had to do other things to stay awake. Like I was jogging in place.

PROTO Were you watching this at 1 am?

DANNY No, this was in the middle of the afternoon.

SLIM We need to move on, this is — we haven’t even gotten to The Iron Giant.

PROTO I’m actually working on a song.

DANNY Oh god.

PROTO Based on this movie. [Slim laughs]

DANNY Sing it.

SLIM Wait, did you watch it?!

PROTO I watched the first hour but — [Slim & Danny laugh]

DANNY Oh see!

PROTO I haven’t had a chance! Do you know how many movies I have to watch for the show on a weekly basis?!

SLIM Yeah, I remember you started sweating in our DMs when I reminded you that we had West Side Story to watch and it was two and a half hours. [Slim laughs]

DANNY I rest my case. Let’s move on. Proto, what’d you watch this week?

PROTO I was perusing Twitter and our friends over Letterboxd, they often post, you know they’ll have some tweet about some movie. It’s usually a screen grab and then you’re like, oh, what’s that? And then in the reply they tell you what movie it was. In this, they had a Gene Hackman.

DANNY Oh yeah.

PROTO Making some, some sharp line about some other director. And it was the movie Night Moves from 1975. I was like, oh, Gene Hackman, I haven’t watched, you know, an old Gene Hackman movie before. I like him. I like him in the Royal Tenenbaums. So, then I watched the trailer and I was enthralled by the trailer for this movie. I just had to see it. I bought it. Sight unseen.

DANNY Oh my gosh.

SLIM I’ve never seen this before.

PROTO After watching the trailer. It’s about, Gene Hackman plays a private investigator who is retired, he used to play professional football. Now he’s a private investigator, he gets this job to look for this woman’s missing daughter. And he kind of just goes on this, this wild goose chase from person to person tracking her down, he eventually finds her. And then this movie has like a really slow burn like the middle, by the middle, you’re like, what’s happening? You know? Like, where’s this movie even going? A lot of nothing burger scenes that might appeal to Slim.

SLIM Mmm!

PROTO But then the ending is fantastic. It kind of all ties together and you come to realize what was going on during the whole movie, which I really love. I found that ending really satisfying, but also Gene Hackman, he is the greatest angry actor ever. He has some scenes, some amazing scenes where he gets pissed off and it just, I love it. He reminds me of I don’t know if everyone has this experience. But growing up, there was a few you know, I had a few friends who had, who had an angry dad, who just seemed like pissed off all the time. And I when I was really young, you know, that kind of Dad, you know, scared me and like I would, you know, you try to avoid them. But then as you get older, like once I was like a teenager, I really admired the angry dad. [Danny laughs] Who was willing to be angry in front of someone else’s kids, you know, he wouldn’t hide like, this is just who he was. And he was gonna be pissed off if I was there or if I wasn’t there. And I love that and, and Gene Hackman reminds me of that, those dads that I knew growing up.

SLIM It’s like Danny in Discord. [Proto laughs]

DANNY Angry dad. [Slim laughs] Angry dad vibes.

SLIM Had you seen the French Connection?

PROTO No. And I haven’t seen The Conversation either. I really wanna watch that.

DANNY Classic Gene.

SLIM Ohhh gosh. Anything else Proto?

PROTO With my kids, I watched the Sonic the Hedgehog movie. And I had very low expectations going into that and my expectations were met. [Danny laughs] I gave that movie one star. It’s not a terrible viewing experience. But it’s… it’s just very bad though. Very bad! Like, you know, turning any, you know, video game character or whatever from like, pop culture into a movie like — I don’t think you could have done a worse job.

SLIM Sheesh!

PROTO I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s been worse than that.

SLIM Remember they had to pull that movie back because the Sonic community really hated the design of the character so they like actually put more money into the movie to re-CGI him.

PROTO Yeah, he was too human I think. But if you know — what video game property should be turned into a movie?

DANNY Halo.

SLIM Mortal Kombat.

PROTO Halo. Okay.

SLIM Halo — God remember when they shopped the rights around Halo?

DANNY Matt, let’s not… let’s not dig into it.

SLIM What a disaster of a franchise outside of games. I mean, some of the games are a disaster.

PROTO Wow, they would still probably make a buttload of money if they turn Halo into a movie.

SLIM Marcie points out that Halo has a TV show coming. I feel like that TV show has been coming for the last 10 years with Showtime or something.

DANNY It’s gonna be on STARZ next. Something people don’t pay for.

SLIM STARZ… get it outta here!

DANNY I have no idea.

SLIM Get it out!

DANNY I’m just mad that we don’t have something.

SLIM You know who I blame is that Blomkamp.

DANNY Blomkamp. Yes. Yes. Neil.

SLIM Blomkamp. Golly.

DANNY I’m pissed.

SLIM It’s moving to Paramount+? Ugh God.

DANNY There you go. Paramount+, this has got even worse.

SLIM It’s just finished. It’s absolutely finished. I think the bloom is off the rose.

DANNY Excuse me?

SLIM Of a Halo property.

PROTO Cut this whole conversation out. I’m pissed off now. [Danny laughs] Paramount+!

DANNY Start from the top!

SLIM Ohhhh my goodness. Alright. Well, we need to move on.

DANNY We do. Wait, what did you watch?

SLIM I watched… this may shock you but I watched a lot movies this last week. [Proto gasps]

DANNY Mhmmm.

SLIM We did some basement reno. And then the next day we just kind of vegged out with that new Planet of the Apes collection that was released.

PROTO Oh yeah!

SLIM And we watched, well mostly me, I think Amanda slept through half of them. But I watched the OG Planet of the Apes movies pretty much all in one shot.

DANNY I love it.

SLIM And I had never seen most of them. I don’t even know if I watched the first one. First one’s okay, Charlton Heston. Second one was really cool.

DANNY Mhmm!

SLIM Beneath the Planet of the Apes. I’d never, I didn’t know anything about the plot of that. I thought that was pretty sweet. A little, I don’t want to talk about it, but he can kind of figure it out. But my favorite one of the bunch, I’m trying to make sure I have the the name of the title was Escape from the Planet of the Apes, the third one.

DANNY The third one’s solid!

SLIM 1971. I also just want to point out that they made five Planet of the Apes movies in six years?!

DANNY Insane.

SLIM What is going on?!

DANNY Back to back to — it’s just, it’s the best. I love it.

SLIM Halo can’t even get a TV show in 20 years and they made by five of these Planet of the Apes movies. So they, the two main characters, the two ape characters from the first movie, they, it starts out it’s like all Twilight Zone like I think even what’s-his-face wrote the screenplay to the first movie, Rod Sterling. And the third one, they travel backwards through time and land on Earth. So they like, the movie starts out amazing. They crash land, all the military goons are like waiting until they take their masks off. And it’s just like them in the suits. It’s so campy, it’s funny. I was laughing the whole movie.

DANNY I’m so happy you went on that journey.

SLIM Thank you. And unfortunately, I ended it with the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes. It’s not in the collection. I had to grab that separately.

DANNY I don’t know what you were thinking. Why’d you do that?

SLIM What was — what was Tim doing?! Planet of the Apes. Mark Wahlberg.

DANNY I don’t know. I blame you for watching it.

SLIM Was he just cashing a check during that entire movie?

DANNY Yes!

SLIM It’s a disaster.

DANNY Yes.

SLIM It’s trash.

PROTO Mark Wahlberg.

DANNY Uh oh. Proto’s so pissed right now.

SLIM Listen, he is not good. I mean, especially that movie. Tim Roth, I also thought was just too over the top. Nightmare fuel. So that’s what I watched this week. And I log those on Letterboxd, our favorite social media site. It’s where Proto revealed his West Side Story rating ahead of our Patreon bonus episode that was just released. And it’s our favorite site, so you can sign up and join us. If you share the show on social media, you’re entered to win a free year of Letterboxd Pro. So no ads, no third party ads in the app or the website. And you can get some pretty sweet extra features on top of that. So this week’s winner, of Letterboxd Pro is The Lady February on Twitter. Congratulations.

PROTO Congrats!

DANNY Congrats!

SLIM That is a real screencap remnant just posted.

DANNY I can’t look at that. I can’t even look at that.

SLIM That’s Tim Burton’s former lover. If you can guess what famous female actress is in 98% of Tim Burton movies. [Proto laughs] You’re right. Helena Bonham Carter. And if you want to support Letterboxd, you can sign up for Pro or Patron status on your own at 20% off using the link on 70mmpod.com. Is it time?

DANNY Let’s do it.

SLIM For the Iron Giant. 1999. This is my final pick for Blockbusted Month. This month feel like it’s been going on for two months.

DANNY Right?

SLIM Was there six weeks in this month? My God.

DANNY I feel sick.

SLIM Underperforming movie. I went digging and there was a list that had the Iron Giant on there, an underperforming movie at the box office. So this is my pick, I had a print in mind. Proto, can you walk us through this movie?

[music from The Iron Giant plays]

PROTO It’s 1950s Americana and Cold War and Hogarth Hughes is looking for a friend. A latchkey kid on a strict diet of Twinkies and late night horror. Hogarth’s imagination runs wild as he runs through the woods of his sleepy town. Then something falls from the sky. Something big. And Hogarth finds that friend he has been looking for, a robot taller than a house. But someone else is looking for the robot and will not stop until he is destroyed. Hogarth is just a kid, but his friend needs his help. And he will stop at nothing to save the Iron Giant.

[music from The Iron Giant ramps up, plays alone, fades out]

SLIM How many times have you seen this movie Danny? 100?

DANNY It’s… I can’t count anymore. It’s not, it’s not possible.

SLIM Can’t even count that high.

DANNY No, I’ve never counted that high. I don’t do it.

PROTO Wooww. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Proto, what about you? Do you remember your first experience with The Iron Giant?

PROTO I don’t. But I think this is maybe my third time seeing this.

SLIM What? This is probably my second and definitely the most aware viewing for me.

PROTO Hmm. You’re awake this time.

SLIM I was awakened with fresh eyes, this viewing. Brad Bird. This era of animated movies I feel like it’s just kind of like a black hole for me. When this movie came out, I was not into it. I didn’t really see the appeal. I thought the animation was weird. Like it’s, I don’t know, it’s old school. But it’s a mix of old school 2d animation. Even some of the voice acting just feels old to me. Like the the FBI agent.

DANNY You’re starting to sound negative. And I’m getting a little worked up, Matt. [Slim laughs]

SLIM My first note for the Iron Giant on this viewing, is this movie just like every little kid’s dream or what?

DANNY Every kid’s dream.

SLIM The plot of this movie.

DANNY Right?

SLIM You want to be that kid watching the horror sci-fi movies that stumbles onto a giant robot in your backyard. And Brad Bird —

PROTO He made the dream real.

SLIM He made the dream real! So what was your kind of first impressions of seeing Iron Giant for the first time, Danny, what was your vibes?

DANNY Oh, for the first time, you know, I don’t know. It’s just, it’s like you said there’s just something about, you know, you can see yourself. I can easily see myself as Hogarth. I didn’t watch horror movies. But watching these movies and just, I don’t know, falling in love with this robot that he’s kind of scared of. But he saves and becomes his friend. I mean, there’s just, this is a beautiful film. On top of any sort of message that gets portrayed towards the end of it. I just love this film. I looove the design of the Iron Giant. It’s incredibly genius. And it’s also designed by Joe Johnston.

SLIM Oh my gosh.

DANNY So, you know, Rocketeer King. I just, I love this. I love this film. With all my heart.

SLIM Mmm! How about Harry Connick Jr.?

DANNY How ‘bout him?

SLIM Is he your favourite?

DANNY No.

SLIM Voice actor?

DANNY No. [Danny chuckles] Definitely not. But I don’t care at all. It doesn’t bother me in this film. For sure. The soul patch is more disturbing.

SLIM The casting choices seem very of the time.

DANNY Jennifer Aniston.

SLIM Yeah.

DANNY Animated Jennifer Aniston? You kidding me?

SLIM Unreal. Proto, what about you? What do you got for the Iron Giant?

PROTO Well, Danny just brought up the design. One of my favorite scenes is when they’re in the, when they get back to the barn house, he gets the hand back. And then the Iron Giant reconnects his arm and the little just animations of the like the I guess like the bars and the screws and then connecting, that animation is just like so pleasing to watch. Just the like, you know, the Iron Giant looks incredibly simple for a giant robot, you know, there isn’t much to it. But then there’s a lot of like little detail, like that scene where you can see like the complexity and like the just, yeah, like the high design of it. And then especially at the end, you know, when he kind of turns into a weapon. But yeah, I love that scene. Was there any CG in this movie?

DANNY Yeah, so the brilliant thing about this film is the entire animation of the Giant is CG. He’s a fully animated, computer generated animation. And they rendered him in 2d. And they even went as far as creating wiggly outlines to him to make it look like hand drawn animation. So that’s why there’s this amazing smoothness to the animation of the robot. And so much can be done because they were kind of breaking new ground with this. Like people can look at this and be like, this is a 2d animated film, but surface level, they did such an amazing job blending the two of them together, but the Giant himself is full CG the entire film. It’s brilliant. And I think it helps, it helps with the, it just helps with this weirdness of him. How he kind of just doesn’t feel in the right place. And I think that’s the animation does that for him.

PROTO That’s probably my favorite part of this. It’s just the animation. There’s so much smoothness to it like you said like as if it’s, it’s yeah, it’s like running at like 60 frames or something in those moments. And it doesn’t it doesn’t pull you out of it. I think maybe other movies when I like, some of those scenes like from like Treasure Planet where the CG kind of like, whoa that doesn’t look right, in a bad way. Whereas this, it’s like you could tell something was different, but it just fit in so perfectly. And this movie to me It reminded me of watching like a fish tank, where it’s just very like calming and pleasing between the way that it’s animated and then the colors, like the, just the color palette of this I thought was beautiful as well.

DANNY Shooo. My goodness.

SLIM His first like appearance in the water where he think it’s the lighthouse and his head is turning, that is stunning. Any scene where he’s just kind of like in the forest in the background is so well done with the shadows and also the shot where he’s flying up for the first time and the mother is driving with the truck.

DANNY Oh my gosh.

SLIM And the camera’s just like focused in the truck. You just see him like shoot up, like man, Brad Bird. You’re cooking with gas right now in this movie. What was his background before this movie?

DANNY So I love Brad’s stories. So Brad, let me see if I remember this correctly. Brad. When he was a teenager, he made a short animated film, sent it in to Disney. I think it was… Milt. Milt Kahl I think. And Milt hired Brad to be like his assistant or like a protege kind of bringing him up in the animated world. I think his first gig he started animation with Fox and the Hound. And so he made his notoriety there. And then he went from doing Disney, I think Spielberg hired him to work on that Amazing Stories show that Spielberg did. And then Brad went to Simpsons, he did a lot of writing for Simpsons, wrote like one of the Krusty or directed when the Krusty episodes. And then from Simpsons, I think he went to Warner and that’s when he got cooked up with Iron Giant. And then, you know, Pixar fame. He did Ratatouille and Incredibles which, you know, are amazing films.

SLIM Mission Impossible.

DANNY Yeah. And then yeah, and the Mission Impossible! Brad, I love Brad. I mean, he’s done so much. Especially in the animation scene. I mean, he’s a legend.

SLIM Yeah, the one other cool, one of my other notes was just them including the stuff about Superman and the Spirit, like the comic books.

DANNY Yeah! Agh, so cool!

SLIM Him trying to connect about who the robot is, or if he’s like a good guy. Like, just including that to the point where it’s not a Superman movie, and having it resonate with the Giant, so much, like at the end of the movie. Like the stuff with the Giant. I get it, I know, it’s difficult to like, animate, but then also make these characters feel like human. But man, they did such a good job where the robot almost accidentally kills him. And Harry Connick Jr. like calls him and he’s like a weapon. And he like makes the connection that like they think he’s like a gun. His reaction to that is so good! And so real. And so well done. Like they had to go through so many iterations of that. It was so well done creating an emotional character in the Giant.

PROTO Yeah, I think it’s interesting how they don’t give him a name in this. You know, he’s just The Iron Giant. Like he doesn’t have a name, which is, which seems like counterintuitive to a story like this when you want to try to humanize the robot and like the connection between him and Hogarth, but by not doing that, I don’t know I just think it’s an interesting choice. But you mentioned the comic books. I love the all the nods to the time period. I thought that was so good like that when he’s up late watching which you know, basically I guess like The Twilight Zone. And then the nuclear Holocaust like videos at school that they’re watching. Just like all of those bits to reflect the time period was really fun. And just so well done. I thought.

SLIM The phrasing atomic Holocaust was just like [Slim laughs] so funny but like, horrifying and just the way it was presented was so smart. What about, what’s on your list, Danny, for the Iron Giant this viewing?

DANNY Yeah, I mean, I want to talk a little bit more about the, the like, the soul inside of the Giant. Like how he has this, it’s almost like childlike learning abilities. Especially with Hogarth and some of the scenes where, him learning to talk. I just, there’s just something, I don’t know. Maybe it’s the dad in me but I love the toddler likeness to this giant being that could easily destroy this town. Like we see at the end but I don’t know there’s — I just love this Giant so much. I mean, it’s it’s silly but the learning to talk thing always gets me. There’s just something about it that I love. I love Hogarth teaching him and I love that friendship between the two of them and the bond. It’s just, it’s great. I just love the character of the giant so much.

SLIM Yeah, even — let’s see, who pointed that, Seantana. ‘Can we talk about what kind of parents name their child Hogarth?’ When they first called him Hogarth, I thought they were just going to like call him Garth for the rest of the movie like that was his full name. [Danny laughs] But no one ever called him except maybe like his parents or something, but it never happened. Proto, what else is on your list for The Iron Giant?

PROTO I think I need Dean’s bathrobe.

DANNY Ohhh.

PROTO Yeah, he had this like red bathroom with Ying Yang on the back. Like man, I need a bathrobe like that. Just chilling around the house. Another thing is the, I mean so many, so much animation was great. But the fighter jets near the end just looked amazing. Them flying through the sky, the sense of speed that they had and like rushing by. I thought that was really, really compelling and looked really great.

SLIM I actually just like love Hogarth as a character, just so full featured. I love that when that thing was happening outside of the house, he put on that, you know that winter coat, the boots, helmet, the glasses, and he loaded up that gun. I just love the idea of a young kid that stays up watching you know, sci-fi, Twilight Zone stuff. Like that is so cool. Like, this is gonna be the coolest kid ever. I just thought was so tickled by that scene. And the train scene where they’re walking by and the Giant tears up that train.

DANNY Love that scene.

SLIM And he’s got to like slowly piece it back together as Hogarth is yelling to him. That scene was stressful as hell. And then the train still gets like derailed almost.

DANNY Yeah. And a little more Disney trivia, the conductors of the train when they’re talking about what happened. The conductors names are Frank and Ollie, which is the legendary Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson, animators for Disney. And they actually came and did the voices of the conductor’s, which is pretty cool.

SLIM My gosh!

PROTO Wow.

SLIM You can’t, you’re not getting this info anywhere else talking about The Iron Giant. I guarantee you. There’s just a vibe in this movie. I was never bored. I was never not entertained by what was happening on screen. And just like made me wonder why this movie wasn’t a bigger success. I think someone said in Discord this week that it came out the same weekend as like the Sixth Sense.

DANNY Well, Warner Brothers under marketed this movie terribly. And I think there was a couple interviews that I remember where they talk about how this the success of the, the how good this film is, is because of how uninvolved Warner was as a studio. So they got some make the movie they wanted without so much oversight and pushback from studios being involved. So even though the cause of the flop is terrible marketing, probably a poor weekend for it to come out, a lot of Warner’s fault. We still got probably the better movie because of it, you know? And there’s been such a resurgence. So like when, I forget if they won or sold the rights or or how it happened. But Cartoon Network ended up getting the rights to show Iron Giant. And that’s kind of how it kind of started this kind of cult following of this film, because it was on TV on Saturdays and kids growing up and the big like resurgence of this film.

PROTO Well, it’s also unique in the fact that it’s a, it’s an original story. That’s not trying to ride the coattails of, you know, a classic, like, you know, it’s not based on Treasure Island, or you know, a play or you know, just something that people know and connect with where you can be like, oh, let’s go see that animated movie that’s based on this thing that we know of so we’re kind of familiar with it already. Like this, the story, I was thinking about it like, it’s so different than what you would expect. Like it’s so stripped down and like the stakes are pretty low in the movie itself. If like Pixar made this movie, there would have been, you know, Hogarth would have had like a little buddy friend who was like the comedic relief, or he would have had like a pet that was, you know, with him at all times, and there would have just been more characters, there would have been higher stakes. I think, well, of course, like a nuke is going to fall on this city at the end of this movie, but I think it would have just been presented in a different way. Like that doesn’t really, that’s not really an issue until the final 10 minutes of the movie. So it’s just, it just feels very unique in the way that the story is told where there isn’t a major conflict even, like there’s the detective there. But like Hogarth is kind of like getting the upper hand with the most of the time and then it’s just like him in the Iron Giant hanging out. [Proto laughs] You know?

DANNY Right. Which is amazing.

SLIM I want to talk about too how his, when he thinks that Hogarth is dead and he turns into like that weapon, like fully formed, like man, they really nailed like, old retro 50s War of the Worlds type vibe, like so hard. So well done. What did you think of that?

DANNY I remember being, I do remember the, the reveal of that being insanely shocking, like you have the lead up to him, you know, the scenes where he goes off on Hogarth, in the, on the, the scrapyard and where he sees the gun and it triggers him and you catch it when — I mean the absolutely incredible deer scene, where they’re going through the forest and it’s gorgeous. And they come across the deer in the valley and the deer gets shot. And it’s just, that scene itself is beautiful, but you see him kind of get triggered with the guns and but the fully realization of him being a weapon, and his power at the end is bonkers like he fires, when he hits that like one last shot into the ocean that misses everything that could have easily decimated that entire coastline. It’s just nuts. And his design is so cool, like absolutely insanely cool.

PROTO My last note is it was funny seeing the end credits, where there’s like no animation sequence, right, at all. The movie ends and —

SLIM Just text.

PROTO And it’s just text on a black screen. And I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen this. [Danny & Slim laughs] In an animated movie! [Proto laughs] Just so bizarre to see that.

SLIM It’s like part of a bygone era, this movie. I mean, even the topic of guns in this movie.

DANNY Crazy.

SLIM And how the kid has this just fully realized, you know, understanding of the power of a gun, and he’s like, just sharing that information with the Giant in such a way that the Giant totally understands it. And probably my last scene too, the voice acting from this kid when he tells the giant that he loves him at the end this movie.

[clip of The Iron Giant plays]

THE IRON GIANT No… following…

HOGARTH I love you.

[clip of The Iron Giant ends]

SLIM Is this the greatest voice acting in the history of film? [Danny laughs] By a child? Like I couldn’t believe it!

DANNY Yes. Thank you.

SLIM What I was hearing! I was blown away! So powerful from this kid. Bravo!

DANNY Such good stuff. Such good messages. We need more Hogarths in our world.

SLIM For sure.

PROTO There are some great lines. The one I loved is ‘It’s bad to kill. Not bad to die.’

DANNY ‘Souls don’t die.’ Ugh. So much good stuff in this film.

SLIM Let me give my final thoughts in the movie. It’s not long, it’s like 90 minutes. You know, it’s not too, there’s no fluff in here that I would probably cut out in my opinion. It was so much fun. I loved Hogarth! I love the character of this kid, I loved his background, I loved that he liked sci-fi, so interested in it. He got his like dreams realize by finding this robot. And I loved the message in the movie. It’s so good. It’s so powerful. This movie needs to be playing constantly on every network. Any animated network, put this on. Friday night movie night. This is fire stars from me for The Iron Giant.

DANNY Oh my gosh.

PROTO Wow.

SLIM Yeah, I mean when he said ‘I love you’ to the Giant.

DANNY Water works.

SLIM Game over, man! [Danny & Slim laugh]

DANNY Oh baby.

SLIM Proto, what about you? Closing thoughts for the Iron Giant and your rating?

PROTO Yeah, this movie, is super, to me it’s super relaxing. It’s very peaceful. I love that aspect of it. The animation is gorgeous. There’s like the one shot early on in their house and I just like to love the colors and the design of the house. Yeah, there’s something about it, I don’t know, like I don’t totally connect with this movie. I feel like I always want to when I watch it but I don’t. It just, I don’t know, like I enjoy it. I think it’s really well made, has a good message, but it just doesn’t wow me. It doesn’t wow but I really, I really like it. It’s a three star movie for me.

SLIM Shoooo. Wowwww. Three stars from Proto. Danny?

DANNY Wow. I don’t wanna follow that. I don’t wanna follow that right now. [Danny laughs]

SLIM Danny just puts it off.

DANNY I love — this film is like, it’s dream., it’s like dream project when you’re an artist, I feel like. For me this would be like something I would love to have been a part of, just the planning stages, the design stages, just being a part of telling the story is like top tier for me as a creative. I love this film. It’s always gonna be a five star film for me. The ending is something special with this robot. I love that it’s left open for a sequel if they want to, if not just knowing how it ends with the robot rebuilding himself in the Arctic, flying in the space, destroying the nuke. It’s just there’s so much about this film I love. It’s easily five stars. If I could give it more I would. I just… I love it.

SLIM Oh yeah, doubble just posted the GIF of him at the end of the movie flying up saying ‘Superman’. Vin Diesel. We didn’t say him. He did the voice acting for the Giant.

DANNY 53 words he said in this film.

SLIM If you’re into, if you’re into Vin Diesel.

DANNY I’m definitely into Vin Diesel.

SLIM Just a reminder, we’re about to get into our voicemails and letters. After that segment, we are about to reveal what’s happening next month.

DANNY Oh my gosh.

SLIM You know, there was a lot of talk of us taking a break from the theme months.

DANNY We’re back! [Danny laughs]

SLIM You know, cooking something up. Maybe that’s gonna happen soon. Who knows. But we got, we got some cooked up for May. And it’s Proto’s pick. So if you’re not given up on this show after that three star rating from Proto, and you’re ready to hear the next movie —

PROTO You’ll have another chance!

SLIM Buckle up babyyy! [Danny laughs] Let’s get to some voicemails here.

[voicemail plays]

VOICEMAIL What’s up 70 mil? This is Forrest. Was planning to call in to talk about a magical little movie called The Iron Giant. But then something incredible happened.

SLIM Tell us.

VOICEMAIL We got the Shrek episode this morning. Boy was I excited to fire that up. But then I listened to it. And frankly, the patronizing, antagonistic tone, that two out of the three hosts of this show took on that. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I just want you to know the passel protects and the passel does not forget. Anyway, love you! Bye!

[voicemail ends]

SLIM Oh my. Thank you, Forrest. We didn’t even talk about our shock drop.

DANNY We don’t need to.

SLIM The Shrek bonus app. It’s our first bonus episode since Star Wars Holiday Special.

DANNY Giving the same — Shrek and Star Wars Holiday Special give me same vibes. [Slim laughs]

SLIM On the 20th anniversary of Shrek.

DANNY Happy birthday, Shrek.

SLIM I came out looking great from that episode, I’ll tell ya what.

DANNY You did it on purpose. You don’t love that film! [Slim laughs] You liar!

SLIM Came out looking real good.

PROTO Man of the possums.

SLIM You can leave a voicemail or audio file or letter at 70mmpod.com. There are links on that website! Let’s see, who we want to get to next? Let’s get to the Leviathyn.

[voicemail plays]

VOICEMAIL Hello 70mm pod! Yes, this is Leviathyn making another voicemail while I’m still in Colorado. But I had to because you guys are doing Iron Giant. This is one of my most nostalgic movies as a kid. This is one of my first like real sci-fi movies that I was allowed to watch being an itty bitty child. And this is one of my favorites. I still to this day enjoy watching this movie. It’s one of my comfort movies. And it just has a warm fuzzy place in my heart. And if you guys destroy it, I don’t know what I’m gonna do with myself. Look forward to hearing what you guys have to say and ugh.. Iron Giant.

[voicemail ends]

SLIM I don’t know how Leviathyn’s gonna feel after this.

PROTO You’re safe Leviathyn. You’re safe with us. [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM Remember when Leviathyn wanted us to do Star Trek and we did Star Trek The Motion Picture? That was a retro episode.

DANNY It feels 20 years ago.

SLIM Pre-Discord.

[voicemail plays]

VOICEMAIL Hey guys, Seantana here, just wanted to call in and say I absolutely love this movie. I remember watching it as a kid, and it being a movie that would pretty much play on a loop in my house. And almost anyone I knew could quote it from beginning to end. For me, it’s the complicated themes of a community feeling afraid of something that they don’t quite understand, and not knowing how to deal with it. That still makes it really true today. And being able to find a hero in someone that everyone assumes is a villain at first sight adds a layer of depth that I think is missing from a lot of animated movies from this time. And I mean, the voice cast is spot on, from Mike Meyers a Shrek to Eddie Murphy as Donkey.

DANNY I swear to God. [Slim & Proto & Danny laugh] Ahhh, the bamboozle.

VOICEMAIL I could listen to the soundtrack all the time. And I would attempt a Shrek impression. But I know that Marcie has the Scottish accent on lock.

DANNY Stupid.

VOICEMAIL So I’m going to leave that to her and hope that she follows through at some point. I just want to say shout out to all my Villagers out there. Thank you for keepin it real and beyond thankful for this community that has sprung up from a movie podcast. And it’s amazing to think that a group can be so inclusive and accepting when most of us have never met each other. So thanks guys. Love you all. Looking forward to Shrek 2 in 2024.

[voicemail ends]

SLIM First time VM from Sean. We have a lot of Sean’s in the Discord.

PROTO Killed it.

SLIM Shrek 2, Danny, what would it take to get you — what tier of Patreon would have to exist for that to happen?

DANNY They don’t want me to do — there’s no way they want me to do this. They don’t.

SLIM We’d have to replace Danny for an episode. We’d have to have like a guest, guest host like Johnny Carson takes a week off and Joan Rivers steps in.

DANNY Listen to me. Listen to me. I would do Muppets Treasure Island over Shrek 2. [Proto gasps]

DANNY I would do Muppets in Space over Shrek 2. [Proto gasps] You kidding me right now? Trash Shrek movie.

SLIM Let’s not say things we can’t take back. Okay?

DANNY I’m not taking anything back. I’ll stand by those words.

PROTO My word!

SLIM What a VM. Let’s see, I think we might have a legit voicemail.

[voicemail plays]

VOICEMAIL Hey buds. It’s Mel. Long time no talkie. This isn’t a movie voicemail.

SLIM Excuse me?

VOICEMAIL But just a VHS Village appreciation voicemail. I just wanted to thank you guys for doing this podcast and for creating the Discord and just like opening your arms to and making this amazing community. It’s like one of the most loving and like beautiful communities I’ve ever like been a part of and I just, I love it so much.

SLIM Thank you Mel.

DANNY Tearing up.

VOICEMAIL It’s just, it’s unreal how welcoming and just full of love and heart. It’s been just all like born out of love for movies. It’s amazing. As a wise person named Boom once said.

SLIM Uh oh.

VOICEMAIL Good souls attract good souls.

DANNY Aw.

VOICEMAIL And I think that’s so true with 70mm and, and the VHS village. And also, thank you for giving me an audience, now that more than one person in my life thinks that I’m funny. Anyway, love you guys. I’m not crying. You’re crying. I’m crying. Love you! Byyyee!

[voicemail ends]

DANNY Ahhh, love you Mel. My goodness.

PROTO Love you Mel.

SLIM Imagine Mel cackling on her roller skates in that house with chuck?

DANNY Those wood floors are taking a beating right now. [Danny laughs]

SLIM Ahhh, thank you Mel.

PROTO Every room she rolls into ‘it’s Mel!’ [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM ‘Hey bud’ just rolls int here. [Proto laughs] On her Van skates. That sounded like Mel was using a microphone on that.

DANNY Interesting.

SLIM On that call. I can’t pinpoint it but something sounded different. I don’t know, my ears, my producer ears. Thank you, Mel. We have one more VM to go before Proto makes his biiiig pick for next week. Let’s see. Let’s hear it right now.

[voicemail plays]

VOICEMAIL Hello 70mm it’s Sophie. Slim, great pick this week with Iron Giant. Always love that movie, always makes me cry. Vin Diesel at his best.

DANNY Okay, calm down.

VOICEMAIL Not why I’m calling, not why I’m calling for my very first time. I’m calling because this week, there was an absolute travesty that got posted in Discord. And that is Proto telling us that he watched 90% of Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, my number one movie on Letterboxd.

DANNY Get him.

VOICEMAIL It’s my favorite movie, one of my favorite movies. He watched 90% of it and then just stopped? And he turned it off and just never went back to it? And I just, I still don’t know how to process this information. I don’t know how you stop a movie that beautiful and then not want to know what happens next. And especially because the last 10 minutes of that movie are some of the most powerful 10 minutes in cinema! I am so confused and just really want Proto explain themselves. So I have been writing. And by writing I mean, I’m gonna be transcribing this.

DANNY Change his words.

VOICEMAIL So it’ll, it’ll be on the record. Because Proto, I don’t know. This was a, this was a big upset for me. So I just I need you to explain so we can just get back on the same page. Because to me, watching 90% of something, and then stopping and then not going back is almost worse than watching the movie and then not liking it. I don’t know. I would just love some clarification. Okay bye!

[voicemail ends]

SLIM Soph asking — nay — demanding, an explanation from Proto.

PROTO Sophie. I can give you an explanation. I don’t normally want to do this kind of thing.

DANNY Uh oh.

PROTO Because I’m just going to sound like a typical parent. And it’s going to be hard for you to understand. It’s for anyone to understand. If you’re not in this situation. I have, I have three kids. [Slim laughs] I have a full time job. I am married. There are, there are other things orbiting my life that I understand you may have a favorite movie and it may or may not compute that I could watch 90% of it and not finish it. But there are things going on…in my…life!

SLIM Weren’t you watching Evangelion on your phone while doing laundry? [Danny laughs]

PROTO Don’t you dare. [Danny laughs] Don’t you dare try to turn this on me.

SLIM Sophie is a dear friend of the show. She is responsible for the transcriptions that exist for the 70mm podcast you can find on 70mmpod.com. So thank you Sophie for the VM.

PROTO Sophie, you did this to yourself. So do not be angry with me. Okay?

SLIM You talk about anger. Let’s get into next month. For May.

DANNY Pissed.

SLIM This was… we threw around a few ideas.

DANNY Can I say one of the ideas we had?

SLIM Let’s hear it.

DANNY Meg Ryan month. We almost had it.

SLIM We almost had it. We almost —

PROTO It was in the books.

DANNY I pulled the ripcord on Meg Ryan month. If I’m gonna be honest.

SLIM Why don’t you announce what May is?

DANNY Me?

SLIM Our official May theme. Yeah, let it out!

DANNY Okay. So it was gonna be Meg Ryan. I love her dearly. I just feel like we could have gotten to week three and have, I was worried people are gonna get tired of Meg. Okay? And I was afraid that people’s reviews of Meg could hurt me. And I don’t want to be hurt. So we’ve made a pivot. We turned May into Leading Ladies Month. And so the movies that we’re going to pick for this month are leading ladies actresses, or female directors. So we’re very excited to do this. Now, I don’t know what Proto has cooked up for his pick, but he seems very excited about it. And I’m very excited for him to talk us through this.

SLIM Oh gosh. I already have my pick also done.

DANNY Do you?!

SLIM Wrapped!

DANNY Oh my gosh!

SLIM I almost want to just sing it to the mountains right now.

DANNY Don’t take this from Proto. He needs this moment.

SLIM But we can’t take this moment from Proto. This is his moment.

PROTO Don’t take this from Proto. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Proto, I’m ready. For you to share what we’re gonna be watching the next episode of 70mm.

PROTO Back when we did cult month.

DANNY Uh oh.

PROTO I made a pick, Mr. Nobody, and I, you know, I had to live with that pick. I had people who were, they were not happy. And I was in a bad spot. I was in a bad place. And after that I did not want to go back there. I said you know, let’s play it safe. Let’s give people what they want. So I’ve had a few wins since then. And I’m feeling spicy. [Slim laughs] I’m feeling back. So my pick is, it’s a dual leading lady. I got leading lady actor. I got a leading lady director.

SLIM Excuse me.

DANNY Oh my gosh!

PROTO This is also…

SLIM Double trouble.

PROTO An almost pick for me. [Slim gasps]

DANNY Oh!

PROTO So this is a Lazarus coming back from the dead. When it couldn’t be done. This is a redemption. This is 1991’s Orlando. [Slim laughs]

DANNY Ohhhh my God.

PROTO Director by Sally Potter. Starring Tilda Swinton. This was going to be my pick if I won the vote all the way back 10 years ago, when we each picked a director and Danny won and we watch Riding in Cars with Boys.

DANNY Which is a fantastic film.

PROTO My pick is Orlando — actually. Sorry. It’s 1992.

SLIM I’m speechless.

PROTO Yeah, we’re doing this. It’s streaming on Amazon Prime. So if you have it, you can watch it there.

SLIM Billy Zane’s hair in the hero image of this movie on Letterboxd is making me drool right now. [Danny laughs]

PROTO Billy Zane. Tilda!

DANNY Ohhh my gosh.

SLIM I was not expecting Orlando to rear on its head on this podcast again after that near pick. I will tell you that much.

DANNY This is a big deal.

SLIM Sally Potter. 1992. Tilda Swinton, Billy Zane, and a host of actors I’m not familiar with.

DANNY Tilda’s giving me Proto vibes right now. [Proto laughs]

PROTO Stop! [Danny laughs]

SLIM Sally Potter. I am, I follow one person that has watched this movie.

DANNY What do they give it?

SLIM And this is Brian Formo, movie critic that I enjoy reading his reviews. He has given four and a half stars on this movie.

DANNY Ohhh! Okay!

SLIM Male or female, Sandy Powell is eternal life. That is his one sentence review.

DANNY Here we go!

PROTO This is sitting at 3.8 on Letterboxd too, so.

SLIM There’s one other thing that we do want to call out to for folks that in our Patreon and Discord that enjoy voting for potential episodes. Proto was whipping something up.

DANNY Whippin’ it.

SLIM Leading Ladies madness. We’re putting it back to a vote. Villagers will be able to vote for the final episode of the month. So it’s happening. There you have it. Episodes in the bag. The Iron Giant, we did it, we made it, we announced Leading Ladies Month. If you haven’t signed up for the Patreon yet, and you want that Solo print, you want to join our Discord community. Time’s running out, baby. Running out real quick. Sign up before May. Proto, closing thoughts as we prepare to watch Orlando before next week?

PROTO This week, I wanted to give a shout out to our unknown listeners, who is really the majority of our audience. The majority of our audience, they listen to our show, but they you know, don’t write in, they don’t leave voicemails. We don’t hear from them, but they enjoy the show and love it. And they’re out there. We don’t know your names. But I just want to say thank you for listening. And thank you for you know, for being here with us.

SLIM Sally Potter’s Orlando next week. Goodbye. [70mm theme music ramps up] 70mm is a VHS Village production, featuring original artwork provided Danny Haas. Spiritual guidance and VGER, the robot who loves movies, provided by Protolexus. Producer emeritus, dale_a. Prints and other merch are available on 70mmpod.com. This episode was mixed, edited and produced by me, Slim. And you can support our Patreon for access to our Discord to talk movies with other Villagers, get early access to episodes, discounts on merch, and a physical membership card mailed to you. If you would like to support our friends at Letterboxd and upgrade to Pro or Patron status, you can do so with a 20% off discount using the links on 70mmpod.com. Goodbye!

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